Erdoğan wants F-35s to violate Greek airspace
Greek-American and Greek diaspora groups and their supporters in U.S. Congress are looking to block the sale of U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, which could be used against Greece, New York-based newspaper the National Herald wrote.
The concern stems from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s history of repeatedly sending F-16 fighter jets into Greek airspace, the article said.
Ankara is facing tensions with the United States over its planned purchase of Russian S-400 air defence missiles. U.S. officials say the S-400s could be used by Russia to collect data that would undermine the defences of the F-35s, 100 of which have been ordered by Turkey, but not yet delivered. Turkey could be excluded from the manufacture of parts for the F-35 jets and even face U.S. sanctions.
Erdoğan is now pressing the United States to allow his country to buy F-35s and buy the Russian missile defence system.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has meanwhile dropped anti-American and anti-NATO positions, reneged on anti-austerity promises and surrendered to the demands of European creditors, the article said.
Both Greece and Turkey are NATO members, but the alliance has said it would not intervene in Turkey’s repeated violations of Greek airspace and waters, the National Herald said.
U.S. officials have repeatedly threatened Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 fighter jet programme should Turkey go through with the purchase of the S-400s, slated for delivery in July.
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